The prequel to the classic ''The Wizard of Oz,'' ''Oz the Great and Powerful'' held its European premiere on Thursday. Edward Baran reports.
The prequel to the classic 'The Wizard of Oz', 'Oz the Great and Powerful' had its European premiere in London Thursday. All three witches -- Michelle Williams, Rachel Weisz and Mila Kunis -- were in attendance along with the wizard himself, James Franco. The star has recently worked mainly in arthouse cinema and shied away from the big budget blockbusters, but was convinced to take the part. SOUNDBITE, James Franco, actor, saying: "There were really three things that made me want to do the film. First, that it was going to be directed by Sam Raimi, my old friend, who directed the Spider-Man films. I've been a huge fan of Oz since I was a boy - I've read all the L. Frank Baum books and then I loved the way the character was written. He was a flawed character and a comedic character in the middle of an epic film and I thought that situation was unusual." The film follows how the wizard came to reside in the land of Oz and cost Walt Disney an estimated 200 million dollars to produce. Rachel Weisz, who plays Evanora, was not put off when director Sam Raimi told her agent she wasn't right for the role and pushed for an audition anyway. SOUNDBITE, Rachel Weisz, actor, saying: "The fact that Sam Raimi thought I wasn't right for it it was like a bull to a rag - is that the expression? - a rag to a bull. It made me really want to go and get it, so I read for him and then I got the part." "Oz the Great and Powerful" goes on release nearly everywhere worldwide in early March.